Amboseli National Park Kenya

Kenya Travel Blog

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I have always wanted to visit Amboseli National reserve in Kenya. I had heard alot about Amboseli National Reserve formerly known as Amboseli National Park. From her famous big Jumbos( Elephants) to the view of the snow- capped peak of Mt Kilimanjaro, the park is one you cant miss to visit in Kenya. My grandfather always talked about their trip to Amboseli, he loved Elephants and in these place he found all that he wanted to see. If you could hear my grandpa talk about this place, you would definately put it in your list of places to visit while on vacation in Kenya. After my grandpa passed away in January 2010, i decide to visit Amboseli National park, this was not my first time in Kenya, i have been in Kenya several time and done safaris , but never visited Amboseli national reserve because of tight schedules.
The next thing i decided was to contact my travel agent in Kenya, Inside Africa Budget Safaris since they are the ones who handle all my travel while in Kenya and Tanzania. I have grown to love them because of their wonderful   service and treating me as one of them. I told them that i will be visiting, and they should arrange for me a 6 day trip with Amboseli national reserve included. Amboseli is Kenyas moat spectacular displays of wildlife, lion, elephants, leopards, cheetah and bufallo creating Kenyas most sought after photographers parade.
When the D day finally came, me and my wife landed in Jomo Kenyatta Airport where we were picked up by our agents and transfered to the hotel. We were later taken to Carnivore restaurant for dinner, here there are all types of bush meat and very tasty too. We later retired back to the hotel for overnight . The next morning we were picked up by our driver "Jomba" his a very good man and friendly too.Before we left, we passed to the market to pick up our cook, "Mkorino" that is his name, i tell you this , the guy is wonderful and id you ever make this trip with this agency for camping in Amboseli, demand forthis cook  ( Mkorino).
We finally departed for Amboseli national reserve, we were just the two of us plus the driver and cook, we had booked for private tour.  Amboseli lies about 250km from Nairobi on the border with Tanzania at the foot of Africa's highest point, kibo, peeps beautifully from the clouds especially in early mornings and evenings.The camp we were going to stay in  is in the middle of the park and without a fence. One practically lives with the animals, its no place for the faint heated.  The elephant bones arranged outside showed their dedication to this large animals.We had a evening game drive taking the wandering circuits around the park , looking for animals. At longinye swamp we came across a herd  of bufalloes grazing in the swamp. They glared balefully at our intruding party probably wondering why humans could not just mind their own business. A few metres away, a herd of elephants was grazing too. Beside the swamp, there were some remains of elephants clearly indicating how bad the drought affected them the previous year.
As we drive around the park, dark clouds can be seen gathering around Mt Kilimanjaro threatening to release its contents.It is said that Amboseli has about 1500 elephants, the largest number in all Kenyan parks and reserves per  square metre. We soon prove this as we stumble upon herds after every few kilometres. Being on the border , animals cross between the two countries at will. In the dry season , the herds are found in the low- lying Amboseli but retreat to higher ground in Tanzania at the foot of Mt Kilimajaro in the wet season. Our driver decides to head straight for the highest point in Amboseli, the observation hill where one can see the entire park. Our eyes are now peeled looking for the king of the jungle, the lion. We soon hit pay dirt. About 500 metres   from the road, a lion is stalking a herd of impala who by now are alert, their heads held high. We, however , can only see a small speck as the distance is too far.As other vans slowly gather around waiting for the inevitable dash, we move on towards observing hill hoping that we will have a chance to see the lion at close quarters.
The last day we drive straight on with a few  brief stop[s for photos . Another herd of elephants passes very close and in our open roof vehicle, we are able to see them without any scare.We slow down to let them pass. They however start trumpeting, signaling danger and we know the lions are around. The young ones move quickly to the middle of the herd for safety. . Back to the lions den, referred to as Makindu due to the coniferous plants all around here, we slowly approach , looking for any sign of the lions. Soon we spot two cubs lying in a clearing, a big lioness watching the bushes, most likely not seeing the lions aware all the same. In the evening we later retire to the camp, and guess what surprise, Mkorino our cook prepared a birthday cake for my wife, i guess our agent told him, it was so nice that didn't know what to say apart from thank you.
The next morning, our last day we had a morning game drive and later in the afternoon after lunch, we departed for Nairobi ending our trip. Thank you Inside Africa Budget Saafaris for this wonderful adventure.
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Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration
Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Safari: The annual wildebeest migration in Kenya and Tanzania is arguably the most spectacular natural event in Africa. More than 3 million large mammals have made the vast Masai Mara and Serengeti plains their home.

May & June
In late May, the herds leave the Western Corridor for the northern Serengeti plains and woodlands. The fresh, tender and mineral-rich pastures on the other side of the humans' border, in Masai Mara, are the irresistible bait for the animals to finally invade the Kenyan reserve, an event which usually starts in late June to early July. The troops coming from the south meet here another migratory contingent: the resident wildebeest herds of the Mara region. These animals reside in the Loita Plains and Hills, northeast of the Mara, until the dry season brings the tougher days and it is time to seek the evergreen Mara basin.

July to October
Throughout the month of July, the herds cross the Sand River, a mostly dry tributary of the Mara which roughly follows the boundary line between Kenya and Tanzania. The parade takes the eastern sector of Masai Mara, surrounding the Keekorok Lodge area. The trek follows westward, leading the herds to face the major challenge along their quest: crossing the Mara river and frequently also its tributary, the Talek. By then, the rains at the Mau Escarpment, where the Mara rises, have fed the stream to its highest levels.

The steep banks are populated with trunk-looking basking crocodiles that seem almost to be expecting their annual banquet. The operation of fording the river is the most delicate along the migration, and as such seems to plunge the gnus in a state of anxiety that only relieves when the whole herd has crossed. The trekkers walk along the left (eastern) bank of the Mara looking for a suitable point to cross. There are plenty of preferred crossings along the course, which are easily identifiable by the lack of vegetation, the depressed slopes and the deep grooves carved by the animals' hooves. These are the most secure places to ford the river, those that ensure a minimal mortality. Nonetheless, the apparent programming of the whole process sometimes seems to collapse, and the nervous herds occasionally choose places where the banks are too steep and many of the animals break their legs down the cliff or fall flat into the waters. The herds gather at the suitable points and wander around nervously, their grunts sounding loud in the air. Eventually, one animal takes the lead and approaches the rim, scanning the opposite edge to analyze if any danger awaits after the crossing. When it finally dives into the stream, this seems to haul the rest of the herd. More animals follow in a single line across the river, while the lagged ones throw themselves towards the stream until the rearguard pushes the troops to a frantic race that ends up with some animals trampled to death, lying aside the course...

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Masai Mara Safari

Our journey starts upon arrival in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. We are taken to the hotel where we spend our first night in Nairobi the capital city of Kenya. The city is crowded during the day and noisy especially from the traffic. But the uptown of Nairobi is a bit calm and the perfect place for your rest.

Early the next morning we start our safari to Masai mara national park. Kabiro is our driver and guide in the next 3 days we will be in Masai mara.Our drive takes us to the south along the floor of the Great Rift Valley with wonderful scenery and perfect place to take loits of pictures. We take a break at Narok Town for our lunch and then climb the western wall entering Hemmingways Country of the "Serengeti Plains". We arrive in Masai mara late afternoon in Masai mara with a game drive along the way before arriving in the campsite where we spend the night. The campsite is so amazing since we are sleeping in self contained tents with electricity and shower inside, who could imagine that in a bush unless it was a lodge. Kudus to the agency.

We later join other travellers for a campfire and some entertainment by the Maasai villagers, ooh what a wonderful way to retire for bed.

Early the next morning after superb heavy breakfast we leave for a morning game drive in the park. Our guide makes a joke that we are going hunting but we should not use guns but our cameras. What i loved during the game drive was the cooperation between all the drivers who were in the park, the way they could communicate with each other on the radio on the exact spot where the animals were and where there was a hunt. It was so good, because this way we were able to see many animals and i guess it was also our lucky day because we saw a cheetah on the hunt. It killed a antelope and unfortunately a crowd of hyenas came and chased the cheetah away and enjoyed the meal. how unfortunate, but i guess is the way to survive. Our driver told us that it was our lucky day to witness the hunt,we took lots and lots of photos.

After our full day game drive, our driver takes us to the Masai village where we make a stop and learn on their culture , ways of living and the food they eat. There houses which are commonly known as the manyattas are pretty small but the masai are proud of there ways of living. We had a chance to get some beautiful masai souvenirs, what a day.

We headed back to the campsite for some freshening up and later had a wonderful African dinner which was prepared on a special request by our host. It was a meal of Ugali and fried goat meat. We later join the camp fire nd interact with others then retire for bed.

On the third day our driver picks us up for a morning game drive after breakfast which lasted upto 11.00 o'clock in the morning. Am sorry to say this, but the trip ends here. We later arrive back in Nairobi in the late afternoon for lunch. Lunch in Nairobi restaurants are more fair in price compared to eating in the hotel. We are later joined by our host Nancy and she gives us this wonderful surprise of taking us to carnivore restaurant to wind up out trip with dinner  there.Waw, the dinner was great, they have different range of bush meat , and choma was perfect. After this wonderful dinner we left for the airport. Asante sana Kenya and i will sure come back for more days.

Joan Schuff is a front desk receptionist. For more information about his site visit
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